Suzanne Szasz, Chrissy, nine years old, (in D. Niccolini, Women of visioned. Unicorn, New Jersey USA 1982)
Textes et actualités venus d'autres horizons
Ces contributions sont proposées par des amis, relations qui sont en lien avec REGARDS. Ils en conservent bien entendu tous les droits.
2013 on nous a transmis : « L’espace
mental colonial comme matrice du racisme contemporain »
Saïd Bouamama : les figures de la domination
Mai 2012 : « Capital culturel et travail social »
Jean Blairon, RTA asbl, Namur écrit un texte très intéressant même si la notion de « culture » ne fait pas place ici à la diversité.
Télécharger le texte en pdf
Avril 2012 : « Du droit à la juridicité, de l’Etat à la gouvernance : une méthodologie d’élargissement des horizons et des perspectives, exemple du droit foncier en Europe et en Afrique »
Pierre Calame, Fondation pour le Progrès de l'Homme
Texte en PDF
Septembre 2011 : dernier numéro de la revue Intercultures
avec un sourire, mais aussi une grande larme à l'oeil, que je
vous annonce la parution du numéro 158 d'Interculture Défis
de l'interculturel à la gouvernance / Governance: Challenges
of Interculturality. Outre des contributions sur le Droit et la
gouvernance en perspective interculturelle, ce numéro contient
un bel hommage à l'oeuvre dialogale et interculturelle de
Raimon Panikkar qui nous a quitté en 2010. Je pense qu'il
pourra vous interpeller.
Malheureusement, nous n'avions plus les moyens, comme jusqu'au numéro précédent, de le publier en version papier et en deux versions, française et anglaise. Le cahier n'existe donc qu'en version informatique bilingue que vous pourrez télécharger gratuitement sur:
Ce numéro est aussi le numéro final de la revue Interculture. Après avoir ouvert de beaux espaces d'interculturalité pendant 44 ans, la revue n'a maintenant malheureusement plus les moyens de continuer à paraître.
L'Institut Interculturel de Montréal est lui aussi en train de fermer ses portes après un demi-siècle de travail pionnier dans le domaine de l'interculturel.
Il reste encore quelques exemplaires des anciens numéros d'Interculture. Vous pouvez en consulter la liste et passer commande sur:
Si vous ne connaissez pas la revue, je vous encourage vivement à en prendre connaissance et à commander les numéros qui vous interpellent à titre individuel ou dans le cadre de votre institution avant qu'ils ne soient plus disponibles. Une partie importante des numéros existe en versions française et anglaise.
Belles inspirations interculturelles à vous tous et bonnes énergies pour continuer à les faire vivre sous de nouvelles formes !!!
Human Rights and Intercultural Dialogue /
Droits de l'Homme et Dialogue Interculturel
Février 2010 : Une Europe qui réinvente son avenir
Pierre Calame, Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer pour le Progrès de l'Homme
Télécharger le texte
2009 : The Political Attitude
Alessandro Duranti, Anthropology Department, UCLA
In the history of linguistic anthropology, from Franz Boas’ 1889 article “Alternating Sounds” to the more recent trend to study language ideologies around the world1, there has been a strong commitment to showing that language is a non-neutral medium, namely, something that affects its users’ ways of being and doing (Duranti, in press). Although we know that speakers are not usually aware of the non-neutrality of their language, we also know that occasionally speakers are able to stop and think about what was just said. In these cases, language itself becomes an object of reflection, speculation, and theorization. This is made possible, for example, by reported speech, which allows speakers to quote themselves and others, comment on the said, criticize it, approve it, question it, while changing it to fit their purposes or narrative goals or style2.
We know that speakers produce assessments not only of what somehow just said but also of how it was said, showing sensitivity to content and form of linguistic expression. In some cases these assessments are ritualized and predictable, like in the Samoan fono I studied where a just-said utterance can be publicly appreciated with either a mâlie! meaning “nicely said,” or with a mo`i meaning ‘true’ (Duranti 1981). In most cases, however, the assessments of the value of what someone said , like other kinds of assessments (Goodwin and Goodwin 1992), are less predictable, even though they are performed and coordinated with great precision.
For these assessments to happen, speakers need to engage in a particular type of act, a phenomenological modification of what Husserl (1931) called the “natural attitude” and we might call the “cultural attitude.” Speakers, in other words, step out of the flow of their taken-for-granted life-world, that is, out of what Henri Bergson (1938) called la durée, and look at what either themselves or others have said not only to repeat it or summarize it but also to inspect it. When they do so, they do not just make language itself into an object of inquiry, they also change their attitude toward language.
I want to suggest that when we try to activate our informants’ “metalinguistic awareness” (Silverstein 2001) or engage them in meta-pragmatic discourse (Silverstein 1993), we are trying to jump-start such phenomenological modifications. We are asking native speakers to do something that they have done before – namely, reflect on the just said or on the sayable – but we are asking them to do it on language tokens and in contexts of our choice. We often ask the same from our readers. We show them examples of language use and propose generalizations that are meant to activate in them a change of attitude toward language itself, sometimes toward their own language. When we tell our readers “Look at what these speakers do!” we are also trying to provoke or inspire a phenomenological modification that would produce a moment of reflection, or, rather, a reflection based upon our own reflection, hence a meta-reflection.
When we read in Jane Hill’s (1998) article “Language, Race, and White Public Space,” that the Spanish terms used in the midst of English sentences by English speakers who do not otherwise speak Spanish are words or expressions that have a negative connotation, we not only become aware of such connotations, we are guided to re-orient our understanding of those terms along the analysis proposed by Hill. Next time we hear an English speaker use the word macho or mañana in the ways described by Hill, or next time that we catch ourselves in the act of using those words we can no longer be naïve and have a “natural attitude” toward such usage. Hill’s analysis inspired in us a change of attitude toward that kind of language. We switch to what Husserl called “the theoretical attitude.”
The special kind of reflection on the ways we use language that Hill’s and other colleagues’ work can activate in their readers, us included, should not be taken for granted. It is no little achievement. In fact, I would argue that getting others to see what we see as linguistic anthropologists is nothing more or nothing less than a political act. First, such an act is political in the most basic sense of the term, that is, it is aimed at changing the world, in this case by affecting what speakers believe that language is or does. Second, it is political because as linguistic anthropologists we have a professionally motivated “attitude” toward the type of noticing that we are trying to get others to do. We believe that the world will be a better place if others knew what we know about a whole range of phenomena, including: the role of language in
a) managing (or failing to manage) conflict,
b) helping (or not helping) people of all ages to learn,
c) getting (or not getting) others to cooperate,
d) treating (or not treating) ourselves and others with respect.
These are some of the most basic human activities in which talk makes a difference, or rather, the difference. Our knowledge of the nature of such a difference is, I would argue, empowering, and therefore political. It informs others about where language succeeds or fails as an instrument for humanity.
It could be said that the sense of political that I am describing is limited, perhaps too limited. I am not proposing a political program and I am not suggesting that we should support a specific cause. These are actions that we can and sometimes do engage in as citizens, as members or supporters of particular parties and interest groups. These other political acts may be important, but they do not have that very special force that comes from our being professional instigators of a change of attitude toward language. What I am calling political is born and remains in the narrow boundaries of our research as linguistic anthropologists. The kind of political I am referring to is a modest and yet potentially important contribution to our society and to humanity in general because it has the power to let others see “how things are” or, in our case, what language is and does to people and for people. This attitude assumes that there is a level of arguable truth, based on an empirically grounded set of observations and on analytical concepts that can be shared and organized into generalizations. It also assumes that we are committed to truth not because we are on the “right side” but because we are committed to creating the conditions for showing what language is and does in its “natural”, that is, cultural way of being, the most political of all.
Acknowledgments. An earlier version of this paper was delivered at the double session “The Multiple Voices of Jane Hill,” Annual Meetings of the American Anthropological Association, San Francisco, November 20, 2008. I thank Jennifer Roth-Gordon and Norma Mendoza-Denton for organizing an intellectually and emotionally stimulating event and Jane Hill for providing the inspiration through her work and her presence.
1) See Woolard and Schieffelin (1994), Schieffelin, Woolard and Kroskrity (1998), Kroskrity (2000).
2) See Voloshinov (1971, 1973), Lucy (1993, 2001).
Bergson, Henri 1938 La pensée et le mouvant. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.
Boas, Franz 1889 On Alternating Sounds. American Anthropologist 2 (o.s.):47-53.
Duranti, Alessandro 1981 The Samoan Fono: A Sociolinguistic Study. Pacific Linguistics Monographs, Series B. Vol. 80. Canberra: Australian National University, Department of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies.
In press Linguistic Anthropology: Language as a Non-Neutral Medium. In The Cambridge Handbook of Sociolinguistics. R. Mesthrie and W. Wolfram, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Goodwin, Charles, and Marjorie Harness Goodwin 1992 Assessments and the Construction of Context. In Rethinking Context: Language as an Interactive Phenomenon. A. Duranti and C. Goodwin, eds. Pp. 147-89. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hill, Jane H. 1998 Language, Race, and White Public Space. American Anthropologist 100:680-89.
Husserl, Edmund 1931 Ideas: General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology. Translated by W.R. Boyce Gibson. New York: Collier.
Kroskrity, Paul V., ed. 2000 Regimes of Language: Ideologies, Politics and Identities. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press.
Lucy, John A., ed. 1993 Reflexive Language: Reported Speech and Metapragmatics. New York: Cambridge University Press.
2001 Reflexivity. In Key Terms in Language and Culture. A. Duranti, ed. Pp. 208-211. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Schieffelin, Bambi B., Kathryn Woolard, and Paul Kroskrity, eds. 1998 Language Ideologies: Practice and Theory. New York: Oxford University Press.
Silverstein, Michael 1993 Metapragmatic Discourse and Metapragmatic Function. In Reflexive Language. J. Lucy, ed. Pp. 33-58. New York: Cambridge University Press.
2001 The Limits of Awareness. In Linguistic Anthropology: A Reader. A. Duranti, ed. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Volosinov, V.N. 1971 Reported Speech. In Readings in Russian Poetics: Formalist and Structuralist Views. L. Matejka and K. Pomorska, eds. Pp. 149-175. Cambridge: M.I.T. Press.
1973 Marxism and the Philosophy of Language. Translated by Ladislav Matejka and I.R. Titunik. New York: Seminar Press. (First Published 1929 and 1930.).
Woolard, Kathryn A., and Bambi B. Schieffelin
1994 Language Ideology. Annual Review of Anthropology 23:55-82.
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